The Diet Delusion: Challenging the Conventional Wisdom on Diet, Weight Loss and Disease
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The Diet Delusion sets out to review the published research in the field of nutrition and weight management and explores the perceived wisdom of why there is an obesity and diabetes epidemic in much of the developed world, especially in the USA.
digested and absorbed into the circulation and so converted into blood sugar. This concept of a glycemic index has had profound consequences on the official and public perception of the risks of starches and sugar in the diet. But it has done so by ignoring the effect of fructose—in sugar and high-fructose corn syrup—on anything other than its ability in the short term to elevate blood sugar and elicit an insulin response. In the mid-1970s, Gerald Reaven initiated the study of glycemic index to
Weldon Walker, who would later become chief of cardiology at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington. The same has invariably been the case even when patients are simply “encouraged to eat26 as much as [is] necessary to avoid feeling hungry,” but to avoid carbohydrates in doing so, as John LaRosa, now president of the State University of New York Downstate Medical Center, reported in 1980. Every investigator who compared these carbohydrate-restricted diets with more balanced
Reaven and Olefsky 1978. First insulin-resistance test: Shen et al. 1970. DeFronzo refined the “gold standard”: DeFronzo et al. 1979. 15. Reaven’s Banting Lecture: Reaven 1988 (“Although this concept …”). 16. Three Framingham-like studies: Eschwege et al. 1985; Pyorala 1979; Welborn and Wearne 1979. 17. “a whole host of …”: Interview, Ralph DeFronzo. NCEP diagnostic criteria: NCEP 2002:II-27. 18. Reaven’s article on Syndrome X: Reaven and Chen 1996. 19. Silverman on Reaven’s results: Quoted
experiences …,” 358). Young on diet: Young 1976. 15. Young’s presentation: Young 1976 (“weight loss, fat loss …,” 365; “No adequate …,” 364). 16. Proceedings of the 1973 London conference: Burland et al. 1974. Salans talk: Salans et al. 1974. Horton’s presentation: Horton et al. 1974 (“It is clear that …,” 225). Horton added that it was probably hyperinsulinemia: Discussion period, in Burland et al. 1974:249. Yudkin gave talk: Yudkin 1974 (“reduce superfluous adiposity …,” 276). 17. Harry Keen
did, too. Yet the straightforward interpretation of the evidence—from carbohydrates to the chronic elevation of insulin to disease—was consistently downplayed or ignored in light of the overwhelming belief that Keys’s dietary-fat hypothesis had been proved correct, which was not the case. The coming chapters will discuss the history of the science of metabolic syndrome both in the context of how the research was interpreted at the time, in a universe dominated by Keys’s hypothesis, and then how